In a place as massive as NYC, there are tons of hidden gems where you’ll find the chance to catch an independent film. Some theaters are little more than tiny spots tucked away from the bustling streets and lovingly run by volunteers. Others are independent, offering moviegoers the chance to step away from the mainstream and into something more unique.
If you’re looking for some of the top spots to see independent films in NYC, this list will help you plan the perfect movie outing.
Angelika Film Center
Since 1989, the Angelika movie theater has served SoHo by showing independent, arthouse, and international films. With an escalator that whisks you down to the lobby, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The cozy café upstairs is a great place to stop for something to eat, whether you’re staying for a show or just passing through.
This theater also offers a unique membership program that guests can join for free. It gives them perks like half-off admission on Tuesdays, free surprise screenings, and more. The Angelika Café also boasts a menu that has standard concession items along with gourmet foods, coffees, desserts, craft beer, and wine.
The Metrograph is a little newer to the independent movie theater landscape of NYC. The films shown here are mostly rare or archived options. With screenings in both 35mm and digital, it’s got plenty to entertain. It also features a restaurant, bookstore, and candy store.
Walter Reade Theater
The Walter Reade Theater is part of the programming of Film at Lincoln Center. You’ll have the chance to see films in a variety of formats and styles. Documentaries, foreign films, and even silent films are shown here, though the series pass is the way to go if you enjoy your experience at this theater.
If you like film-related events, you’ll love the IFC Center. Check the schedule to find out which documentaries are playing each week. Cult movies are shown on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight, making this a fun place to be for independent moviegoers.
With a storied history since 1970, Film Forum was once an alternative screening space for independent cinema. In the old days, it held 50 folding chairs and a projector. These days, it has been completely upgraded for a modern viewing experience with all the comforts movie theaters offer today. You’ll find classic and exotic independent films on the schedule at Film Forum.
With vintage seats, a full-service restaurant and bar, and the option to have delicious meals delivered to your seat, Nitehawk Cinema combines the classic feel of the movie theater with modern convenience. Catch revivals of classics on the weekends, plus retro and mainstream films during the week. You can also find themed previews with special food that coordinates with the film.
If you’d prefer to mix it up a bit with your movie nights, these NYC theaters will give you the ultimate experience for independent films.